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Brady's return is close, says Bruce

HULL CITY boss Steve Bruce says he hopes to have Robbie Brady back in action within a matter of days, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

Brady, 22, has not played for his club in five weeks due to a hamstring injury and he is not fit to take part in today's FA Cup clash with Southend United, but manager Bruce says he is pleased with the progress being made by Brady and fellow injury victim Sone Aluko.

"Aluko and Brady aren't quite right yet, but both are making huge strides," said Bruce.

"I would have thought that, in the next week to 10 days, they will both be joining in with the team and that can only be good for everybody."

Meanwhile, Phil Brown hopes to capitalise on the "special" atmosphere he senses around Roots Hall as he looks to knock his former employees out of the FA Cup.

The 54-year-old faces Hull for the first time since his departure from the KC Stadium in 2010 when the Premier League side travel to Essex for the sold-out fourth-round tie.

Brown took Hull into the top flight for the first time in their history during his four years in charge and after a short spell at Preston, he now has the Shrimpers on a real crest of a wave.

They head into this cup tie having lost just once in their last 15 games, a run which has lifted them to within three points of League Two leaders Scunthorpe.

And having claimed the scalp of Championship side Millwall in round three, 10,000 supporters will squeeze into Roots Hall for the tussle with the Tigers.

"The atmosphere at Roots Hall won't be the same as any league game. Games in the FA Cup create a special feel around the place," Brown said.

"We experienced some of that magic against Millwall, but if we can do it again against Hull City, it will be brilliant.

"When I first came to the club, I said I wanted to see a packed Roots Hall with not a seat spare. That's going to be the case on Saturday afternoon and it should make for an unbelievable cup tie.

"It should be magnificent."


SLIGO ROVERS have added some more African flair to their side ahead of the 2014 season with the signing of former Kenyan international Eric Odhiambo, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Sligo boss Ian Baraclough has been tracking the ex-Leicester City man for some time, but a move to Sligo last summer fell through because of paperwork issues. Now the 24-year-old is on board and he will join former Cameroon international Joseph Ndo at The Showgrounds in the coming season.

"We wanted Eric in July. Red tape with FIFA stopped the move until they eventually game him the okay, but it was too late to sign him then. I've kept tabs on him, I watched him in England in the off-season. His style will suit our game and philosophy," said Baraclough.

"I first noticed him with the Leicester youth team. He did very well for Terry Butcher at Inverness in Scotland. We give players the chance to find their way again and it has happened with many players over the last few years.

"I am open-minded on where he will fit in the team, there are a few permutations and we will try things out in pre-season. I expect him to be lively in training because he was playing league football up to three weeks ago. If we get Eric to 100 per cent, our supporters will really take to him."